Weird Fabric Finds A Home

Several years ago I snapped up a yard of odd mottled rose/gray fabric because it was just $5. Ever since it’s been hanging with my yardage, being passed over each time I look for a new quilt palette.

Finally I had two project palettes that actually worked with my long overlooked fabric – a bowl and a small quilt.

My second fabric bowl has subdued colors and I couldn’t find anything to cover the rim until I remembered that fabric. It slipped in nicely with hand dyed fabric from Vicki Welsh, hand painted pole wrapped shibori, and batik scraps.

My small quilt, named “Concrete” because of its inspiration, used some of that fabric as well, mostly in the column near the right side.

The inspiration? This magazine photo of Boston’s City Hall. The building is considered an outstanding example of Brutalist architecture, which features lots of poured concrete.

My piece doesn’t capture the depth of the photo and the receding diagonal lines, which are probably what attracted me in the first place, but I can always make another version. Maybe I’ll use less pink next time.


Filed under Art quilts, Commentary, In Process

20 responses to “Weird Fabric Finds A Home

  1. rozmurph

    Hi! Bit of a weird comment, but — I’m Rosie, and I edit an arts and culture magazine in Akron called The Devil Strip. I saw one of your quilts in a show at the Summit Artspace a while ago and would love to talk to you for the magazine sometime! I’m at if you want to get in touch.

  2. I was just, within the last week, talking to another blog pal about Brutalist design and that Boston city hall! I personally don’t get that style at all and think your quilt is much too attractive to be inspired by it. Love the bowl.

    • Good to know I’ve managed to pretty up Brutalist architecture. I did want to add lots of light to the scene in my inspiration photo. The gloominess is my big gripe with the style – small/no windows, that ugly gray…. The bowls are fun exercises design.

  3. Ann Scott

    You did a great job with the quilt, I liked it even before seeing the inspiration photo (which is a very cool image). Though I’m not really a pink person, I love pink with gray so I don’t think it is too much. Maybe just a little darker value to push some of the pieces back. Not that you asked! I still really like that bowl.

    • Please don’t refrain from comments. In this case the ship has sailed as I’ve quilted the thing. I did add black netting to parts to try to get a receding effect on the right side.

  4. Marie Watterlond

    I have a few pieces of weird fabric. I finally used some of the Alien Space Baby fabric on the back of a challenge quilt. Then of course I had to put a baby or two on the front of it.
    Still have some.

  5. Barbara Lockwood

    your bowl is great, but your interpretation of the concrete building is brilliant!

  6. I have fabric like that too. I buy a lot of scrap bags and there are always some in there that I am thinking, Eesh, when am I ever going to use that? But then they end up blending other fabrics together, and I don’t want to use them all up, and I would get more if I could find them. 🙂

  7. Your bowl is lovely, and Boston City Hall never looked so good! It’s wonderful!!!

  8. Chris Wheeler

    Your bowls are terrific, they need to be shown in an art gallery! I think “Concrete” is very interesting and I especially love the windows. But then I read your self critique about the depth and the receding diagonal lines, and i can see why you like that aspect as well. Your windows have depth, I think. Maybe a whole series of “ brutalistic” quilts is about to come about! I had never heard of brutalist architecture before, maybe the inside of E. J. Thomas hall qualifies?

  9. Both pieces are outstanding and I really love the bowl.

  10. Ha! Your quilt inspired by Boston’s city hall made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear! The quilt is outstanding!

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